Lesflicks in the unexpected year of 2020 

Thank you everyone who has navigated alongside us the hostile waters of 2020. We’ve made it! We are all survivors (and in some cases thriving). And it would have not been possible for Lesflicks to grow and develop as much as it did in this past year, without every single one of you all around the world. 

It has been a hard year; it has been a long year (literally longer as it has 53 weeks). It has also been a year of watching film after film, and series after series, in pyjamas, with a glass of wine on the side, in a state of lowkey anxiety and we are hoping Lesflicks managed to provide a short relieve from the bleak realities of 2020. 

And it was not all bad… even though some of it was, there were a lot of positives to come from the challengesLesflicks, like everyone else, had to adapt to the changes and struggles 2020 has thrown at us. Our main goal is to support, promote and showcase LBTQ film. As you probably know by now, films belonging to this genre are scarce and easily overlooked on both mainstream streaming platforms such as Netflix, and even on LGBT film streaming platforms – with less than 20% of content being aimed at us; leaving women disappointed by the lack of representation and filmmakers of smaller and valuable projects unable to reach their intended audience. Lesflicks is constantly trying to narrow the gap between the audience and filmmakers, by providing a streaming platform dedicated entirely to LBTQ films, a website with a film database, film reviews, and film lists, and numerous events. Therefore, making it quick and simple for the audience to access and enjoy the content of their liking, as well as proving to the film industry, that there is a market for LBTQ film. 

Lesflicks VOD streaming platform

We have just re-launched our VOD platform  so that it now: 

  • is easier to use;
  • comes with new content;
  • offers better navigations;
  • features filmmakers’ bios.

In 2020 we realised 227 new videos (including individual episodes and trailers)!! This consisted of the following title formats: 

  • 69 short films 
  • 12 feature films 
  • 12 seasons of web series 
  • 3 documentaries 

Accessibility: Subtitles

We also added subtitles to 38 of our titles in English, French, Italian, Latin American Spanish, Portuguese and Spanish.

The new platform now features a quick and easy way to jump straight to the films that have subtitles available too with our subtitles collection. We’re working hard to expand this list with an amazing team of volunteer translators.

Events

In 2020, Lesflicks enabled active dialogues between filmmakers and the public through Q&A events, as well as providing a safe space for the audience to engage with each other at watch parties that moved from the cinemas online. And who, except misery that got loads anyway, didn’t need a little company throughout this year? 

In 2020 we hosted 141 public events* including IRL film clubs in cinemas (before and in between lockdowns) in London and Birmingham; online global watch parties; Zoom Panel Discussions with filmmakers and actors with audience questions; film festivals; discussions and livestreamed Q&As.

*some of the events overlap 

SOCIAL

What a year for growth!

We started the year with 803 followers on Twitter, and have now amassed a whopping 2383 (+1580); our Facebook page started with 771 followers and has now reached 2073 (+1302); our Facebook group didn’t even exist before lockdown in March 2020 and now consists of 1220 LBTQ womxn and filmmakers (+1220) and our instagram started with 874 followers and we’re now showing our best pictures to 3501 followers (+2627)!

Our Tweets reached over 2 million 530 thousand impressions(!)

This is great growth (and all organic!), but still a very small fraction of the estimated 513,000 non-heterosexual women over 16 in the UK, or the 11 million worldwide that we are looking to reach. Don’t follow us yet, what are you waiting for? Can you help us grow further by telling your friends?

Website

Our website is ever increasing.  We are constantly identifying new films, and with our team being so diverse, diversity is assured. Our film database is being updated constantly with new titles that you might want to check out. We are regularly reviewing LBTQ films, most of which you can watch on our platform. And if you ever find yourself stuck in the time-consuming process of choosing what film to watch, take a look at our readers’ favourites, the film lists. 

In 2020 we published 68 reviews; 148 film database listings; 5 crowdfunding articles; 19 film lists; 16 news articles; 9 film festival articles.

People

Being a project run by volunteers, there has been quite a few of us joining this year, myself included. The number of volunteers started 2020 at 5, and was at one point up to 39, and now is currently 30 and I believe I speak for everyone when I say we have been welcomed in an amazing, supportive majority-women team managed by the forever kind – and never too tired for her passion – Lesflicks founder, Naomi. A round of applause for her, please! 

And yes, if you have a passion for LBTQ film, or films in general, skills that you aren’t exploiting as much as you should, want to help a growing project, and be a part of a great team, or all of the above, it is not too late to join! 

So what were the most popular films in 2020 on LesflicksVOD?

As for films, if you haven’t yet decided what to watch while you’re sipping on champagne, at home, on New Year, here’s our 10 most watched films of 2020 on the LesflicksVOD platform!  We’ve added the platform release dates so you can see how quickly some of these films climbed the charts!

1. More Beautiful for Having Been Broken (8 May 2020)

2. I Can’t Think Straight (1 Dec 2019)

3. Camp Belvidere (15 Mar 2020) 

4. Once Upon A Zipper EXTENDED CUT (24 Apr 2020) *free to watch

5. AESOP (8 Oct 2020) 

6. August In The City (3 Apr 2020) *free to watch

7. When Harri Met Salma (9 Aug 2020) *free to watch 

8. Once Upon A Zipper (24 Apr 2020) *free to watch

9. Forever Not Maybe (12 Nov 2020) 

10. SUBMERGE (25 Oct 2020)

And what will 2021 bring?  

We can only speak for Lesflicks, but we do hope that you’ll be as excited about the new year as we are. Going upwards is our goal; increasing our reach, exposure, and communication with both the audience and the industry by: 

  • adding more shorts, series and features to the video on demand platform, including adding some well-known titles and some exclusive new releases 
  • making Lesflicks VOD Platform available on Apps (Roku, Amazon Firestick, Android, iOS, Apple TV and Android TV) 
  • continuing to add subtitles in various languages to include accessibility 
  • organizing, as well as being a part of, more LGBTQ+ film festivals 
  • launching our Community Amplification Network for film fans to come together 
  • launching a filmmaker network space with articles and information 
  • … and so much more!!! 

Other than that, we wish you a Happy New Year, nothing like 2020! And never stop watching films! Now let the champagne flow, we most certainly deserve it. 

P.S. If you are interested in working, collaborating, volunteering with Lesflicks, or you have a film you think we might like; don’t shy away from contacting us. 

This article was written by:

Maria M

Maria M

Reviewer, writer and superstar

Pronouns: She/Her
Maria is a Romanian art and film enthusiast. She enjoys volunteering for various film and art events, as well as being a part of vibrant, diverse teams. She has a passion for writing and hopes to turn her passions, interests and actual degrees into a profession.